Sunday, July 18, 2021
The Quartodeciman controversy of the second century A.D. had to do with the date on which the resurrection of Christ ought to be observed. Churches in Asia Minor preserved the custom of tying this observance to the date of the Passover, whatever day of the week that happened to fall on. The Roman practice was instead to observe it on a Sunday, since that was the day Christ was resurrected. The eastern practice was defended by St. Polycarp, who appealed to the authority of none other than his teacher St. John the Apostle. Pope St. Anicetus tried unsuccessfully to convince Polycarp to adopt the Roman practice, and they agreed to disagree.
Saturday, July 17, 2021
Monday, July 12, 2021
Most philosophers have at least a vague awareness of this. For instance, they know from standard textbooks that traditional and modern logic differ in their interpretation of categorical propositions, the repercussions this has for their understanding of the square of opposition, and so forth. They know that there has been much debate in contemporary philosophy over the status of modal logic, not to mention even more exotic systems like quantum logic. They may be at least dimly aware that systems of logic were developed in the history of Indian philosophy that differ from those familiar to Western thinkers. And so on.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Friday, July 2, 2021
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Anna Krylov Nautilus on the sometimes contradictory scientific literature. , in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
At Rolling Stone, hear David Crosby sing Donald Fagen’s new song “Rodriguez for a Night.”
The Spectator on a new biography of Kurt Gödel.
At the Claremont Review of Books, Joseph M. Bessette on Barack Obama’s latest memoir.
Monday, June 21, 2021
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
For a larger sample of Williamson’s work , you might check out his A new book, , offers a pleasing overview of the cartoonist’s career, with a great many pages of original art reproduced on large pages in black and white so that the details of Williamson’s pen and ink work are all visible. for EC’s Weird Science-Fantasy; the amusing from Warren’s Creepy magazine; his for Marvel Comics; and from Pacific Comics’ Alien Worlds.
For anyone interested in other translations of my books: The Last Superstition has been translated into Portuguese, French, and German. Philosophy of Mind is available in German. A book of some of my essays is available in Romanian.
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Before we quote our texts, there is yet a remark to be made. Nearly all these quotations are quite well known already. This does not affect their value. If a text proves a thesis, it does not matter at all whether it is now quoted for the first or the hundredth time… Naturally, people who deny [what we believe]… also have something to say about them. In each case they make what attempt they can to show that the writer does not really admit what we claim, in spite of his words… The case is always the same. We quote words, of which the plain meaning seems to be that their writer believed what we believe, in some point. The opponent then tries to strip his words of this meaning… The answer is that, in all cases, we must suppose that a sane man, who uses definite expressions, means what he says, unless the contrary can be proved. To polish off a statement with which you do not agree by saying that it is not meant, and leave the matter at that, is a silly proceeding.
Friday, June 4, 2021
Thursday, June 3, 2021
armstrong, verb. Boldly but casually to insinuate a falsehood in the hope that others will go along with it. “Dave tried to armstrong me into a debate. Can you believe that guy?”
Well, Dave “Stretch” Armstrong is at it again. Apropos of nothing, he posted an article at his blog the other day suggesting that I have claimed that “Pope Francis favors divorce.” That’s a pretty serious charge, but of course I have said no such thing. Like other people, I have said that Amoris Laetitia is problematic insofar as its ambiguities seem to permit divorced Catholics living in adulterous relationships to take Holy Communion under certain circumstances, which would conflict with traditional Catholic teaching. And like others (including Armstrong himself!), I have criticized the pope for not answering the dubia, and thereby making it clear that that is not what Amoris is meant to teach. But that is a far cry from accusing the pope of actually favoring divorce.
Saturday, May 29, 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
Saturday, May 22, 2021
. (Matthew 19:24)
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)
When people use or hear the word “capitalism,” some of the things they might bring to mind are:
1. The institution of private property, including private ownership of the basic means of production
2. Market competition
3. The existence of corporations as legal persons
4. Inequalities in wealth and income
5. An economic order primarily oriented to the private sector, with government acting at the margins and only where necessary
Friday, May 14, 2021
It is by virtue of our rational or intellectual powers that we are made in God’s image and have a dignity nothing else in the material world possesses. As Aquinas writes:
Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. vi, 12): “Man's excellence consists in the fact that God made him to His own image by giving him an intellectual soul, which raises him above the beasts of the field.” Therefore things without intellect are not made to God's image… It is clear, therefore, that intellectual creatures alone, properly speaking, are made to God's image. (Summa Theologiae )
And again, a couple of articles later: “Man is said to be the image of God by reason of his intellectual nature” (Summa Theologiae ).
Monday, May 10, 2021
Monday, May 3, 2021
Thomas Harper is one of the great forgotten Neo-Scholastic writers of the nineteenth century. I discussed his wonderful little book The Immaculate Conception in a blog post . He is especially notable for his unusually rigorous and thorough treatment of abstract topics in metaphysics, in works such as the massive three-volume The Metaphysics of the School. Harper will sometimes interrupt a sustained exercise in abstract reasoning with a non-technical aside, as he does in the course of discussing the metaphysics of truth in Volume I. He there offers (at pp. 461-466) a commentary on Francis Bacon’s “idols of the mind” which is even more relevant now than it was in Harper’s day.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Friday, April 9, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
In First, physical space has come to be conflated with geometry. Whereas the notions of a point, a line, a plane and the like were originally merely simplifying abstractions from concrete physical reality, the modern tendency has been to treat them as if they were the constituents of concrete physical reality. But then a second stage of abstraction occurs when geometrical concepts are in turn conflated with values in a coordinate system. Points are defined in terms of numbers, relations between points in terms of numerical intervals, length, width and depth in terms of axes originated from a point, and so on. Time gets folded into the system by representing it with a further axis. Creative mathematical manipulations of this doubly abstract system of representation are then taken to reveal surprising truths about the nature of the concrete space and time we actually live in., Raymond Tallis notes how this has happened in modern thinking about the nature of space and time.
Friday, March 12, 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
The Thomistic Institute also makes available . And while we’re on the subject, I should also call attention to a similar but different project, the superb , which are in English, French, and Spanish. Hours and hours of worthwhile viewing!
Thursday, March 4, 2021
A “preventive war” is a war undertaken proactively against a merely potential enemy, who has neither initiated hostilities nor shown any sign of intending imminently to do so. The Japanese attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor is a famous example. This is not to be confused with a “preemptive war,” which involves a proactive attack on an enemy who has shown signs of intending to initiate hostilities. The Arab-Israeli Six-Day War is a standard example.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Fr. John Naugle’s Spiked on . The BBC on . A new study finds that the more severe lockdowns ..
At PREVIEWSworld, Mark Judge on , at First Things. his gargantuan new book .
Richard Marshall at 3:16.
Friday, February 12, 2021
knowledge, as modern philosophers use the term, is knowledge that can be gained independently of sensory experience. Knowledge of mathematical and logical truths – 2 + 2 = 4, ~ (p • ~ p), etc. – provide the stock examples. Anselm’s ontological argument contrasts with arguments like Aquinas’s Five Ways by trying to reason to God’s existence in a manner that is a priori in this sense. Aquinas begins with empirical premises (about the reality of change, the existence of causal chains in nature, etc.) and reasons to God as the cause of the facts described in the premises. Anselm’s argument, by contrast, begins with a definition of God as the greatest conceivable being and an axiom to the effect that what exists in reality is greater than what exists in thought alone, and reasons to God’s existence as the logical implication of these a priori premises.
Saturday, February 6, 2021
religion, n. 1. the sum of truths and duties binding man to God. 2. personal belief and worship in relation to God. Religion includes creed, cult, and code.
By “creed,” what Wuellner has in mind is a system of doctrine. A “cult,” in this context, has to do with a system of rituals of the kind associated with worship and the like. The “code” referred to has to do with a system of moral principles. So, the definition is telling us that doctrines, rituals, and moral principles are among the key elements of religion.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
Friday, January 15, 2021
McGinn characterizes the issue as:
the question [of] …what it is for something to have being. What does existence itself consist in – what is its nature? When something exists, what exactly is true of it? What kind of condition is existence? How does an existent thing differ from a nonexistent thing? (p. 211)